A Slumdog in all of us

“Miraculous.”- Roger Ebert

“The feel good movie of the year!”- Christopher Rosen, The New York Observer

These are just a couple of rave reviews for the movie that not only won eight Academy Awards this year, but also won over the hearts of countless moviegoers everywhere– Slumdog Millionaire.

This past weekend I watched Slumdog Millionaire for a second time with a friend who had never seen it before. When it was over, I asked her what she thought about the film. She started explaining that she really liked the movie, even though she found the majority of it “depressing.”

Her response caused me to reflect on the past two hours of my life and led me to the realization that it was in fact a rather melancholy movie up until the last 15 minutes. I wondered what was it about this “little movie that could” that struck a chord with so many people?

I believe that it is loved by so many because it is based on universal themes that affect all of us. Even though the movie takes place in the slums of Mumbai, India, a world distant and unknown to most, the characters are faced with familiar issues: faith, hope, love.

The hero of the movie, Jamal Malik, is a boy from the slums who is a question away from winning millions on India’s version of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.” His life is far from the ideal, orphaned at a young age, constantly on the run, trying to survive the best he can with the limited resources life has handed him. Yet he never ceases to give up. He survives with the hope of one day fulfilling his “destiny” of finding his true love, Latika.

In life the ideal background is non-existent. We are constantly facing trials and tribulations. Everyone is trying to become something more than what they are. While what we live for differs, the goal is ultimately the same. We are all trying to achieve our “destiny,” whether it be finding your soul mate, becoming a “millionaire,” or rising out of your own personal slums.

We are all capable of controlling our destinies; the hard part is celebrating the ups and downs that occur along the way.

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